IIE Launches Program to Assist Threatened Artists

The Institute of International Education has announced the launch of a program to save the lives and work of artists who face persecution in their home countries. The new Artist Protection Fund (APF), a three-year pilot program supported by a $2.79 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will make life-saving fellowship grants to threatened artists from any field of artistic endeavor, and place them at host universities and arts centers in countries where they can safely continue their work and plan for their future.

Can California's Youngest Minds Help Fix the Drought?

From Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council:

Every Drop Counts
While the actions of adults on water conservation will determine our fate, making kids aware of water and the drought is important too. At the California Arts Council, we noticed that California’s 4th and 5th grade students must meet science, history, and social science standards that require water education. Fourth grade students trace the evolution of California’s water system into a network of dams, aqueducts, and reservoirs, while 5th graders are taught the human impact on earth systems such as water. And we know from research and experience that integrating arts into subjects like science and math can engage students and increase achievement. So why not combine art and science studies in a fun and creative project?
Kentucky Elementary Turned Arts Magnet in High Demand

From Elizabeth Kramer at The Courier-Journal:

Just seven years ago, the Jefferson County Board of Education voted to create new magnet programs at more than 20 elementary schools. For Lincoln Elementary, the plan was to become Kentucky’s only public elementary arts magnet. That move set Lincoln on a path that is now a far cry from when it was under threat of closure in 2003.
Positive Aging Movement Takes Off

From Francine Toder, Ph.D., writing for Huffington Post:

I was fortunate to attend a convening of philanthropic, art, and community leaders at “Artful Aging: The Transformative Power of Creativity,” co-sponsored by Aroha Philanthropies and the Hewlett Foundation. The goal of the one-day event was to highlight the benefits of creative aging programs that “inspire and enable older adults to learn, make and share the arts in ways that are novel, complex and socially engaging.”
New from the Reader: Capitalization and Risk

Featured in the current Reader is Capitalization and Risk, an article from San San Wong, Laura Sherman, Susan Nelson, and Ashley Berendt that looks at how capitalization supports grantees’ ability to both take and manage risk.

NAMM Foundation Study Reveals Most Teachers And Parents Believe Music Education Should Be Required In Middle School

From Sara Guaglione at iSchoolGuide:

A new NAMM Foundation study reveals a majority of teachers and parents believes music and arts education is important for children, and most even believe that music education should be required in middle school. A nationwide study, titled "Striking a Chord: The Public's Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States 2015," surveying 1,000 teachers and 800 parents found strong support for music education at all grade levels.
California Governor Moves to Modestly Improve Meager State Arts Budget

From Mike Boehm, reporting for the Los Angeles Times:

California has long ranked at or near the bottom nationally in per capita taxpayer funding of its state arts agency. The $5-million increase from the $1.1 million in Brown’s initial arts budget would push the state’s arts spending to about 24 cents for each state resident. The national per capita average is $1.09, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. To reach it California would have to increase the arts council budget to $42.3 million.
Jessica Mele to Join Hewlett Foundation as Performing Arts Program Officer

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced that Jessica Mele will join the Foundation as a program officer for Performing Arts. Mele will begin work at the Foundation in early August were she will work to provide philanthropic support to arts organizations throughout the greater Bay Area. As a program officer, she will manage approximately 80 grants, including many focused on arts education delivery, advocacy, and policy.

NCRP’s Responsive Philanthropy on Racial Equity

The Spring 2015 edition of Responsive Philanthropy is just out from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), and it delivers a great set of article covering Racial Equity issues and bias in philanthropy and grantmaking. From Aaron Dorfman’s introduction:

Like most white people in the United States, I grew up completely oblivious to the many privileges I enjoy because of the color of my skin. It wasn’t until I took courses in college like “Race, Power and Inequality in America” from Paul Wellstone or “Race, Reform and Rebellion” from Manning Marable that I began to develop an understanding of how our nation, its institutions and the experiences of its people are overwhelmingly shaped by race and racism. Serving as a community organizer for 15 years, primarily working with communities of color, deepened that understanding.
New from the Reader: Replacing Arts Appreciation with Arts Talk

Featured in the current Reader, Lynne Connor, Ph.D., from the Department of Theater and Dance at Colby College, explores the recent evolution, and possible future, of audience engagement in her essay, Replacing Arts Appreciation with Arts Talk.